Gardening expert shares warning over buying supermarket herbs – ‘might not grow!’

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Supermarket herbs in the grocery section can look lush and green when you first buy them. However, many Britons will have experienced the moment when those windowsill herbs begin to wilt, turn yellow and die. Supermarket herbs in the grocery section are a cost-effective way to add flavour to some of your favourite dishes, but they aren’t always grown to stay alive.

Owner of Gardening Express, Chris Bonnett, exclusively told that supermarket herbs are a “use once” product that “might not” continue to grow.

He explained: “The herbs you buy in the supermarket are basically a ‘use once’ sort of product.

“If you’re lucky, they might re-grow.

“They’re grown very intensively, very fast in artificial conditions in greenhouses and things.

“Whereas, if you get something from a nursery it’s more likely to be grown for the long-term to grow in your garden and not forced-on.

“An off-the-shelf herb in the grocery department in a supermarket is more likely just to be something you cook a meal with – chives or whatever.

“They might come back, they might not.”

Growing herbs from seeds is a more effective way of obtaining long-lasting plants.

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However, it can take a lot of time to get the herbs to a point where they’re mature enough to eat.

So buying a supermarket basil for a bolognese or mint for Pimms for short-term usage does make sense.

Freddie Blackett, Co-Founder of Patch Plants told Metro that the reason these herbs aren’t built to last because the pot was “probably overcrowded in the first place”.

He added: “A small pot which could accommodate two or three seedlings is packed with many, many more.

“They’ll soon begin to fight for space and nutrients, meaning the whole plant will go south.”

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However, it is possible to divide up supermarket herbs to allow them to grow on.

According to Gardeners’ World, you can divide basil, parsley, coriander, mint, thyme, chives, rosemary, oregano, sage and chamomile.

To do this, water your supermarket herb well and then squeeze the pot to loosen the roots, sliding the rootball right out the pot.

Veery gently pull the roots apart to make several clumps each with a good set of roots.

Shrubby herbs can be split into single plants.

Next, plant the herbs in small individual pots, ensuring the clubs are at the same level they were in the original pot.

Finally, cut back most of the soft upper foliage of the lower buds.

Put the newly divided herb pots in a bright, warm spot and watch as they produce new shoots.

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